Remember the really cool Farecast app that would tell you whether prices for airline tickets go up or down? We featured them back in 2011, after they had been bought in 2008 by Microsoft for $115M. Then, the story from CEO Etzioni was:
So I’m very pleased that Farecast was picked up by Microsoft, was enhanced to become Bing Travel, and is now widely available and broadly used.
I was just tipped to this story from April: Farewell, Farecast: Microsoft kills airfare price predictor, to the dismay of its creator. Not surprisingly, the attitude post-exit of what happened to Etzioni’s idea isn’t quite as bright:
So, we end up with Bing travel as a thin veneer that redirects users to Kayak, while Google innovates with Google.com/flights, which I now use all the time. Google 1, Bing 0.
Getting access to all that money, all those resources, is always the glitter story that surrounds acquisitions. The drab reality is often a lot like the hangover you had after celebrating the check clearing.